stop caring.

It seems that people are so scared of judgement in today’s society. So concerned about making a good first impression, pleasing other people, and trying to mask any insecurities that may exist. “Don’t judge” is something that I hear all the time. This annoys me because judgement really isn’t the problem. The real problem is simply that people care way too much about what other people think of them. I’m not suggesting that it should be socially acceptable to openly judge people because that’s mean. Nor am I saying that we shouldn’t care about making a good first impression. Making a good first impression is definitely important. Especially if you want that cool kickass job. But there’s a limit. There’s a group of people in my life who’s opinions about me I care about. All of the opinions about me from outside of that circle; I genuinely am not capable of caring.

I never really got on the whole insecurity bandwagon. Growing up, I was always different. I grew up in the fourth whitest state in America, brought weird lunches to school, and my skin was and still is the color of poop. So it’s safe to say that I had a lot of things to be insecure about as a little kid. But I never did feel insecure. And I’m not just saying that to make it seem like I’m some tough guy who has no feelings. I just feel that insecurity is something that people unnecessarily use as a tool to easily victimize themselves.

I learned that comparison only serves to kill joy. When I was little, my dad used to compare me to my nerdy, highly over-achieving cousins in India (this is known as immigrant parenting). I’ll be honest, I cried the first few times these “comparison sessions” happened. But then I realized that comparing myself to someone else wasn’t going to change who I was as a person and ever since then I stopped caring. I think I was 7.

I view this whole insecurity and judgement thing as sort of an epidemic manifested by society. When we were little, all we cared about was sugar, running around, and sleeping. But then what happened? We got older. We wanted to fit in, be popular and cool and all the shit that went along with that. Most importantly, we started to care what other people thought. Some people take this to a whole other level and try to seek validation from literally everyone. Stop that. Do you think that Mahatma Gandhi gave a shit about what people thought of him? No. And he was imprisoned and got beaten to a pulp numerous times. It’s not that he didn’t care, but it’s that he was able to differentiate between things that were important and insignificant. He focused on his purpose which was of greater importance than the adversity he was facing #doitforgandhi.

See, we have to understand that our brains have a limited capacity of who and what we are willing to care about. And that’s the way it should be in my opinion. However, the problem is that people spend too much time and energy caring about things that are irrelevant and don’t spend enough time and energy on things that are important. A few months ago, one of my “Facebook friends” posted something that was pro-Trump. He was expressing his opinion on a matter. That’s cool. I read it, and then continued on with my day. Another one of my “Facebook friends” decided to start a full-blown Facebook fight and troll this poor kid and argue why his opinion was wrong and she felt the need to extensively express her own views on the matter. It became a string of 67 comments. Yeah, I couldn’t believe it either. How this person had enough time and energy to care so much about a comment on the internet is beyond my understanding.

I was talking to an old man one night who came into the restaurant where I work. His name is Ken and he’s a Vietnam veteran. We had a long conversation about his life experiences and he told me that as we mature and get older, we tend to care less and less about the trivial things that happen to us in our everyday lives. He told me that he had close friends die in the line of duty and that he had to get used to this way of life pretty quickly during his time in the war. He said that we eventually just accept the fact that life is the way it is. Ken is amazing. He also tipped me $15 dollars which was pretty dope.

“We all have a limited number of fucks to give; pay attention to where and who you give them to.” — Mark Manson